Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association

Emerging Knowledge for Local Adaptation – Modifying the Symbiosis of Knowledge and Governance for the Adaptation of Western Indian Ocean Coastal Communities at Risk from Global Change

Project Objectives

This project will define a knowledge management strategy to improve the generation, capture, storage and delivery of knowledge to and from key government stakeholders, and to ensure adequate coastal management and long-term planning in the face of climate change. It requires assessing what is being used now (baseline of knowledge), determining which local governments are more efficient in learning and adopting/applying climate change adaptation knowledge and why, how we can best bring emerging knowledge across, and how this knowledge will lead to changes in coastal management. The latter is the translation from knowledge to action which is crucial in developing and transforming nations.
Therefore, the overarching objective of the project is to develop strategies to extend the impact of emerging knowledge relating to coastal vulnerability to enable local government and communities to use knowledge in order to facilitate adaptation and build resilience to climate change. The project vision states that by 2016 local government and other stakeholders have access to effective guidance on best applicable practices on the production, management and use of emerging knowledge on coastal vulnerability to climate change to facilitate adaptation in the WIO countries. The specific objectives of the proposal are to:
i) Assess the type and readiness of emerging knowledge on coastal vulnerability to inform and guide climate change adaptation at local government level;
ii) Evaluate the current capacity of local government and governance structures to use emerging knowledge on coastal vulnerability to inform adaptation and build resilience;
iii) Devise strategies and make recommendations to:
– Strengthen knowledge management systems to generate, manage and deliver knowledge relating to vulnerability to climate change;
– Build capability of local government to implement this emerging knowledge;
iv) Test the applicability of improved knowledge systems to improving local government ability to use emerging knowledge and monitor their uptake


The project will use a combination of research methods and techniques including desktop reviews, semistructured interviews, stakeholder engagement in problem analysis and piloting of specific knowledge management and use approaches.

Expected Results

The expected outcomes of the project are:
Intermediate Outcomes
i) Production of knowledge relevant to local government and governance institutions;
ii) Local government and governance institutions that are enabled to learn from each other how to use knowledge to manage disasters and plan coastal adaptation; and
iii) Achieving return on investment made in the production of knowledge relevant to disaster management for reactive management by extending its use for proactive management of climate change adaptation.

Final Outcomes
i) Production of relevant and appropriate knowledge for the management of coastal disasters and long-term planning of climate change adaptation;
ii) Capacitated local government and governance institutions that can employ relevant and appropriate knowledge; and
iii) Communities that are aware and engaged with climate change adaptation through emerging knowledge that is inclusive, understandable, and relevant to their needs.

Basic Facts

Acronym: Emerging Knowledge for Local Adaptation
Duration: 36 months (February 2014 – January 2018)
Project Reference:
Budget: US$ 583 031
WIOMSA Contribution: US$ 465 426
Project Coordinator: Loius CELLIERS

Project Partners:

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR; South Africa), the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC; Mozambique); the University of Eduardo Mondlane (UEM, Mozambique); the Mauritius Oceanographic Institute (MOI; Mauritius); and CORDIO East Africa (Kenya) and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Nova University of Lisbon (Portugal)

Lead Institution: CSIR
Year of Approval: 2014
Project Country: Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, and Somalia
Investigators: Louis Celliers, Sérgio Rosendo, Bonifacio Antonio, Alberto Mavume, Antonio Queface, David Obura, Javed Iqbal Mosaheb, Marius Claassen, Nikki Funke, and Laurie Barwell
Study Sites:
Project Activities:
Students Supported by the Project and Titles of their Projects
For more details about the project:

Dr Louis Celliers
CSIR-Natural Resources and the Environment, South Africa
Email: lcelliers@csir.co.za